Skinner Returns at Charlotte

Skinner back in No. 31 at Charlotte Shawn A. Akers CONCORD, N.C. (May 15, 1998) Mike Skinner isn't about to change his driving style. But until he's completely healthy, you won't find him taking too many unnecessary chances on the race...

Skinner back in No. 31 at Charlotte Shawn A. Akers

CONCORD, N.C. (May 15, 1998) Mike Skinner isn't about to change his driving style. But until he's completely healthy, you won't find him taking too many unnecessary chances on the race track.

The driver of the No. 31 Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse Chevrolet, injured in a hard accident during the April 5 Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, made his return to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Friday night in the first No Bull 25 qualifying race for Saturday night's Winston Open. Skinner said he's still experiencing pain in his neck and shoulder, although his wrist and knee seem to have healed quite nicely during his absence from the car.

"Right now, I'd say I'm just about 65 to 70 percent," Skinner said. "I still have some nerve damage in my neck, and that really bothers me a lot from time to time. I won't say that I'll race any differently than what I have in the past, but I will be a little more cautious than I normally would until I'm at 100 percent."

Skinner said he plans to run the entire Winston Open Saturday night, and then The Winston, if he qualifies. Next Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, however, might be another matter. Skinner isn't sure if his body will be able to handle the entire 600-mile event.

"That will be a kind of wait-and-see thing right now," Skinner said. "I'm not quite sure how my body will react in the No Bull 25 race or The Winston Open. I think I'll be okay, but we're going to see how I feel after this weekend."

Morgan Shepherd filled in for Skinner in the No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet at both Martinsville and Talladega, and NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division driver Mike Dillon drove the car at Fontana, Calif., in the California 500 two weeks ago.

Skinner said he's been off all pain killers for two weeks now. The pain killers were a good measure of relief, Skinner said, but he didn't want to become dependent on them.

Skinner said the doctors will continue to examine him throughout the remainder of the season. Should surgery on his neck be required, he said he'll wait until the end of the season in November to have it.

"The doctors told me that this type of injury usually takes about six months or so to heal itself," Skinner said. "I hope that's the case and I can stay away from hurting it again. If I need surgery, then I'll have it done later."

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mike Skinner , Morgan Shepherd